Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Punahou adds 14th baseball title to collection


Sat, May 11, 2019 @ [ 6:15 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mililani 2 000100382
Punahou 1 3 0030X770

W: Tyler Shimabukuro    L: Tanner Moran

PUN: Jake Tsukada 2-3 run rbi dbl; Tyler Shimabukuro 4.3 IP 1 ER
MIL: Hunter Faildo 2-3 rbi dbl; Vance Oshiro 1.6 ER 0 ER 2 K

WAILUKU, Maui — Add another title to the most storied high school baseball program in the state.

No. 2 Punahou pulled away from No. 7 Mililani after an early deficit to capture its 14th state crown with a 7-3 win over Mililani Saturday night in the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I Baseball Championships at Iron Maehara Stadium.

The Buffanblu (17-4) took the lead away from the Trojans (15-3) in the bottom of the second with three runs and added three more in the fifth after Mililani made it a 4-3 game in the top of the frame to win its first state title since winning seven straight from 2004 to 2010.

"We've been wanting it for a long time since the seven in a row. It feels good to be the first ones to bring it back, it feels good to bring it back to the program," said junior infielder Kalae Harrison, who had a two-run RBI in the second inning to give Punahou a 4-2 lead. Harrison was also selected as the tournament's most outstanding player.

Junior pitcher Tyler Shimabukuro earned the win on the mound for the Buffanblu after coming in relief of senior Michael Robichaux after 2 2/3 innings. Shimabukuro scattered three hits and allowed just one run in 4 1/3 innings of work.

"I think we had a lead when I came in so my mindset was to just pound the zone," said Shimabukuro. "Our senior pitcher Mike Robichaux, we've been saying it all last night when we found out he was going to start that if he goes down, I got him and that was just on my mind."

Although the Trojans totaled more hits than the Buffanblu, 8 to 7, but a solid Punahou defense helped strand nine Mililani runners on the bags — with at least one runner in each of the first six innings.

After giving up three hits and two runs in the top of the first, third baseman Makana Murashige recovered a ball that went off Robichaux to get the final out of the top half of the opening inning. Catcher Matthew Nishimura caught a foul ball for the final out of the second inning and Shimabukuro hustled to receive a throw from first baseman Cody Hirano to help strand two Mililani runners in the third.

In the fourth inning, Harrison started a 6-3 play to strand two more Mililani runners on the bags and Aaron Tom and Koa Eldredge recorded inning-ending fly outs each in the fifth and sixth inning respectively.

"Pitching and defense has been the story for us this year, and now our story is complete," said fifth-year Punahou coach Keenan Sue. "I'm so happy for these guys. This season had its ups and downs, (but) we find ourselves here so we're just grateful."

Mililani's John Richard Suehisa, who scored the game-winning run over defending state champion Baldwin on a wild pitch in the semifinals, led the game off with a leadoff double for the Trojans Vance Oshiro bunted him over and Ethan Thomas had a hit to shallow centerfield to score Suehisa. Hunter Faildo scored Thomas two batters later before Murashige had the inning-ending play.

The Buffanblu responded in similar fashion in the bottom of the first. Hirano led off the bottom half of the frame with a leadoff double and was brought home on Jake Tsukada's double to left field to make it a 2-1 game after the first inning.

Punahou came right back in the bottom half of the second inning with a leadoff single by Murashige. After Eldredge's bunt and Nishimura got hit by a pitch, Kirk Terada-Herzer singled to centerfield to load the bases. Hirano scored Murashige on a sac fly to tie the game before Harrison's double to deep left field on a 0-2 count gave Punahou the lead, 4-2.

The score would hold at a two-run difference until the Trojans' Charles Winchester reached the bag on a one-out bases on ball in the fifth inning. After a double by Faildo moved pinch runner Jason Shiigi over, Jayton Pang had a sac fly to make the score 4-3.

The Buffanblu responded in the bottom half of the frame with three runs, two coming courtesy of a single by Kade Morihara.

"They just played better than we did," said Mililani coach Mark Hirayama. "They hit the ball well, they pitched good. They just outplayed us today. There's no real holes in their lineup. That's a good team. They did what they needed to do. Hats off to them."

Tanner Moran was charged with the loss for the Trojans after two innings of work. Joshua Reis replaced him in the third inning before giving way to Vance Oshiro after 2 1/3 innings.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].



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